Is there such a thing as good design?

by Kerry Kirby

Garden design in Brooke

If you want to improve the look, design and planting in your garden, then you may well be thinking about getting a garden designer in to help.

So what makes one designer better than another? Is there such a thing as good design?

In short yes! Garden design is all about shaping and organising space, meeting client requirements and also harmoniously linking the house to the garden and the wider environment.

Gardens are for people as well as plants. We’re all different and what we expect and need from our gardens will vary. A good garden designer will understand what you want and help you achieve it.

So how do you choose a designer? A quick look at Google or the Yellow Pages will confirm that plenty of people offer this service. But it may not be as simple as that. Some practitioners are not garden designers at all - they are planners, horticulturists or builders. Qualifications alone are not a guarantee of a good designer. The only way you will know is to meet and talk. Ask to see a portfolio of their work and if they have a website have a look at it. This will give you a feel for the standard of their work and what you can expect from them.

The next issue is how much will you be charged. There are a number of ways that designers will charge for their time. Some will charge per hour, some per job and some as a percentage of your total budget. Some will charge a fee for the first consultation others will not. However, whatever method is used the cost of the design service is usually linked to the quality of the overall service.

So use your first meeting with the designer to assess them. Make them assure you that they are good enough and that they care about you and your garden.

At the end of the day it is your garden. It has to work for you.

For a free consultation for your garden please call me on 01508 558743 or email